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Research Papers That Use The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela

Paper Masters provides topics that you can focus on for World History or the Mexican Revolution. For example, below you see a topic suggestion on The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela. Azuela's book is an excellent resource for research on the Mexican Revolution.

Suggestions for The Underdogs Research Paper:The Underdogs

  • Choose one, and only one, of the prompts you see below.
  • Make sure that your research paper contains an argumentative thesis statement and several paragraphs of analysis rather than plot summary.
  • Use short, (no more than two typed lines) specific passages from The Underdogs to support your point and cite the references parenthetically.
  • We neither require nor recommend the use of any other sources except the book, but if you do use another source, it must be cited according to MLA format.

Choose one of the prompts for the topic on your research paper on The Underdogs Research Paper:

  1. According to Azuela's The Underdogs, what were the roles of women in the Mexican Revolution? Were these roles positive or negative?
  2. Discuss the idea of caudillismo/personalism in Azuela's The Underdogs.
    Why are the caudillos an important part of the Mexican Revolution? How does Azuela's portrayal of revolutionary leaders show either the advantages or the disadvantages to the Latin American tendency of following a caudillo?
  3. Compare and contrast Demetrio Macías with Luis Cervantes. What does Azuela's portrayal of these two figures say about the importance of education, charisma, and brute strength for revolutionary leaders or participants?
  4. You may also write about something else that interests you in The Underdogs or in Que vivan los tamales. If you choose this prompt, you must discuss your topic with your recitation leader before you write the paper.

 

The first passage of Mariano Azuela’s The Underdogs serves to set the tone of the entire work, providing a snapshot of metaphor that plays out through the rest of the book.  In this scene, soldiers come to Limon, the ranch of Demetrio Macias, and kill his dog.  They come upon his wife and make demands of food and lodging.  A drunken soldier disrespectfully propositions her and imposes himself on her until Macias shows up to chase them away.  The soldiers leave, as do Macias and his wife and child, but they return to set fire to the ranch.

Demetrio and his men take on soldiers despite their numbers, showing bravery and making a game out of their skills in marksmanship.  Two of Demetrio’s men are hanged, and Demetrio himself is seriously wounded in the fight.  But they battle on, depending on the kindness of fellow villagers for sustenance and aid.

Azuela’s work is a picture of the classic struggle between the classes, of the less fortunate binding together in their desire to overcome the oppressive institution.  His work shows the intimate bonds that form between people in situations of strife, and reveals how the individual is changed through a struggle toward revolution.  Demetrio’s wound finally heals, and his troops are joined by “tenderfoot” Luis Cervantes, a man “who already shared this hidden, implacably moral hatred of the upperclasses”.  Throughout this development, Azuela shows the soldiers as brave, yet primitive, and the women who serve them as passively devoted yet strong in their own revolutionary resolve.

By revealing the delicate mechanisms at play in Camilla’s struggle against Demetrios and her developing feelings for Luis, Azuela keeps the human element alive in this story of political struggle.  Azuela incorporates romance, and the resulting portrait is infused with a personal and universally identifiable element of relationship.

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